Oregon

North of California, Oregon has developed a great reputation for Pinot Noir. The growing area is centered around Willamette Valley, which is about 240 km long. It is about the same latitude as Burgundy and of about the same length as the Burgundy Coast wine area. Most famous wineries are located around Dundee, close to Portland. Several Burgundy winemakers have created or bought domains in Oregon, including Meo-Camuzet’s Nicolas-Jay.

Oregon Pinot noir tend to be smoother than Burgundy but highly sophisicated thanks to the cool climate of the area.

Pinot noir by another name

Pinot noir is the main name for our favorite grape, but it is sometimes translated into the local language, or designated by another name altogether. Here are a few names

  • Savagnin Noir in the French Jura and French speaking Switzerland
  • Although it’s often called Bourgogne Pinot noir, pinot noir from Burgundy maybe simply referred as Bourgogne
  • Bourguignon in some part of France, though rarely used
  • Blanc de Noir is the Champagne wine made from pinot noir grapes
  • Pinot Nero or Pignola in Italy
  • Spätburgunder in Germany, Blauburgunder in Germany, Austria and German speaking Switzerland
  • Nagyburgundi in Hungary
  • Modri Pinot in Slovakia

France

Apart from Burgundy, which is the main and most developed pinot noir area in France, this grape can also be found in other regions.

Alsace

Although Alsace is mostly known for its white wines, cool climate of the Rhine Valley is also favorable for pinot noir. Alsace pinot noir tend to be of lighter color and body.

Champagne

Champagne white sparkling wines are made either from Chardonnay (called Blanc de Blanc), or pinot noir (called Blanc de Noir). White wine from pinot noir is created by maceration of the grape juice only, without skins that will give the dark color.

South France

Pinot noir is also grown in the southern region of France, particularly in Languedoc, where it has been more recently brought, compared to centuries old tradition in Burgundy or Champagne.

Loire Valley

Pinot Noir is the red grape of the Centre-Loire, most famous in red Sancerre but also in Menetou-Salon and Châteaumeillant. These tend to be lighter wines than one often associates with this grape.

Australia

Pinot noir in Australia is mostly grown in Victoria State. The focal point there is the Yarra Valley, with famous domain Yering station leading the way.

Tasmania also produces many pinot noir, though they tend to be less famous. The Southern location of the island brings cooler winters and moisture, making it also a great location for the grape.

Burgundy

Bourgogne (Burgundy in French) is the region of France makes some of the finest pinot noir, where it is the main grape variety. It is divided in 3 areas, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, and Côte Châlonnaise.

Since pinot noir from Burgundy are numerous and well document, they deserve a specific category. Other pinot noir growing regions in France are listed in the France category.